tricktheriddle on new single ‘Peptalks’ and the necessity of making mistakes

“[Art] is the most important thing,” New York band tricktheriddle said of the impetus behind their new single Peptalks. 

tricktheriddle treated fans to their latest single Peptalks earlier this year, delivering an unapologetic ode to the vibrant rebellion of alternative rock.

The track, anchored by indie rock vocals and pristine production, was borne out of a chance encounter with a stranger on a subway, and encourages listeners to keep afloat amid life’s uncertainties. 

tricktheriddle interview 'Peptalks'

The New York City band followed up on Peptalks’ success with an official music video which debuted earlier this week.

The clip translates tricktheriddle’s irresistible freneticism, and stands as the latest artistic effort for a band unbothered by mainstream conventions. 

Below, Happy Mag caught up with tricktheriddle for a run-through of their new single, the Long Island music scene, and the need for artists to “live in the thing, breathe it and let it engulf you.”

tricktheriddle interview 'Peptalks'

Scroll down for the full interview with tricktheriddle, and listen to their new single Peptalks video below. 

HAPPY: What are you up to today?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: Emails. Trying not to get another espresso, which I just started drinking again. And recording a demo for a song I’ve had the riff for since, like, 2016. Feels good to finally have that one fleshed out.

tricktheriddle interview 'Peptalks'

HAPPY: Tell us about where you are from? What’s the scene like in your neck of the woods?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: Both Hunter and I are from different parts of Long Island, which has a very questionable scene, if I’m being honest. Out east where I’m from really has nothing to show for it, which was tough growing up. 

Once I made it out west towards Hunter I discovered quickly how much of a clique the whole thing was, which really turned me off. I know Hunter has some friends out there, but it’s nothing that’s ever felt welcoming to me, even though I’m from the island.

HAPPY: Describe an average day? 

TRICKTHERIDDLE: Working on something, whether it’s my music, art, or writing. 

Currently, things are a little hectic since we are on a release schedule, so for me it’s just keeping up with all the emails and promo and deadlines, since it’s just me out here. It can be stressful, so I take the coffee breaks when I can find them.

HAPPY: What did you listen to growing up that fuelled your passion for music?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: A whole lot of metal music, actually. System of a down, primarily. And once I started branching out a lot of early 2000’s alternative music, AFI, MCR, Paramore, Rise Against. 

Those bands really inspire me to this day, and are some of my favourite artists and reasons for making music in general. 

HAPPY: “Peptalks” has a great indie rock vibe. Could you tell us about some of the musical influences that shaped this track?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: That’s kind of you to say. I wrote this one when I was rediscovering my love for 90s music, Nirvana, Pixies, The Cranberries. 

The song went through some different aesthetics before settling, originally it was a bit more electronic when I made the demo that we brought into the studio. This was another track I’ve had for a while, so it was special to see this one get the treatment I felt it deserved.

HAPPY: The story behind “Peptalks” is fascinating, born from a chance encounter. Can you share more about how that moment impacted you personally and creatively?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: I had been going through a lot at the time and this was just the beginning of it, so I had been getting little ‘pep talks’ here and there from those around me and loved ones, always asking if I was alright and stuff. 

It all came to a head when a literal stranger noticed the energy I was giving off, and as with most things in my life, I felt as though I needed to write a song to get it off my chest, and express my deepest feelings that I couldn’t say otherwise.


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A post shared by tricktheriddle (@tricktheriddle)

HAPPY: How did the band come up with the name “tricktheriddle,” and does it hold a special meaning for you?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: The original story is certainly not appropriate for anywhere other than some kind of underground dungeon, but I’ll say it involved a sphinx. 

It probably holds more meaning for me than any other collection of letters. It’s my spirit, the spirit that’s been shaped, moulded and tacked onto and cracked and broken along the way.

tricktheriddle interview 'Peptalks'

HAPPY: Recording in Brooklyn with Joel Hamilton must have been exciting. Any memorable moments or anecdotes from your time in the studio?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: We love Joel. I was lucky to form a relationship with him over COVID when we recorded our first single, and since then he’s really been one of the only folks that I can honestly say has been in my corner, both musically and professionally. 

Which is besides the point that we both work very similarly, like the same stuff, and know where the song should end up. 

Our approach to the songs I write gets closer and closer to one another each time we work together, and the fact that he lets me use my weird garage amp that I bought for 50 bucks at a random record store is really just icing on the cake. That amp is seriously something.

tricktheriddle interview 'Peptalks'

HAPPY: The EP, ‘Sonata for a Ritual, in D# Minor,’ sounds intriguing. Can you tease a bit about the other tracks and the overarching theme of the EP?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: We have two more songs coming out for it, one on sept 29th thats a way different vibe. It’s called wolf whistle, which if you know, you know. Google the phrase.  

The song is way heavy, and is the real connecting piece that glues the whole work together as something that one plays as they are going through a transformation into something greater. 

The final song is the ritual itself, which got teased on WFUV a few months back, which is a pretty legendary NY radio station that I still pinch myself about. Gosh, that was such a moment, I feel so grateful to be doing this. 

HAPPY: What’s the story behind the band’s formation? How did you all come together to create music?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: Like the origins of the name, that story is gross and filled with pimples and maggots and ew. 

What’s important to know is that Huntoid (Hunter) was with me from the start, no matter how many hiccups came our way, and I cannot describe how important it is to have someone stick by me and play the weird stuff I write. He’s a keeper.

tricktheriddle interview 'Peptalks'

HAPPY: New York is known for its vibrant music scene. How has the city influenced your sound and the way you approach your music?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: Good question; I feel like the New York music scene has made me more jaded than ever before. I thought Long Island was bad, but people in New York won’t support you unless there’s something in it for them. 

Which, I don’t hold against them, but there are a million bands, and all of them are good. It’s hard to stick out. It’s hard to get something going, when the culture is so diverse and everyone is in their own little niche. 

Sometimes, I find it hard to bring everyone together, which is the goal with tricktheriddle’s music. I believe there’s something for everyone, a little bit of each style whether its hardcore, alternative, indie, punk, pop rock.

HAPPY: Can you elaborate on the “Peptalks” video and what you hope viewers will take away from it?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: It’s out already! How exciting. The idea, once you understand what inspired the song, is very literal. The video was shot by my good friend Niko Stycos on one of the hottest summer days in Times Square NYC. 

I’ll be honest, my hair was frizzing and that pissed me off. I think if you listen to the lyrics, have some familiarity with them, you will enjoy the video and get a good grasp of the overall theme.


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HAPPY: As a band that embraces anti-culture within the alternative music realm, what’s your message to aspiring musicians looking to break free from conventions and explore their own unique sound?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: Make. Mistakes. Don’t worry about sounding exactly how you want to sound the first time out. Let yourself explore.

Live in the thing, breathe it, let it engulf you. Once you make it out, you’ll know where and how you want to go, and it’ll be the best feeling ever. 

HAPPY: What makes you happy?

TRICKTHERIDDLE: Being able to live in a world where (some) people still care about art, in whatever form. 

It’s the most important thing to me, so the fact that I’m able to be around it gives me something to hold on to. Thanks for your time :) <3